Bailed-out BOA returns favor to Uncle Sam?s renewables
Source: Wash Times
Banking on green energy
How do you know a bank is in trouble? When it suddenly jacks up fees or imposes new ones capriciously, that?s usually a flashing red light. For example, last year, Bank of America (BOA) suddenly announced it would charge customers a $5 fee for using their debit cards. Though the bank backed off that plan after a public outcry, the Wall Street Journal reported in March that the bank was still considering requiring ?many users of basic checking accounts to pay a monthly fee unless they agree to bank online, buy more products or maintain certain balances.?
As if that weren?t bad enough, earlier this year, mortgage giant Fannie Mae, that paragon of fiscal prudence, announced it was cutting off Bank of America from selling loans because the bank was failing to honor repurchase requests in a ?timely? fashion. When an institution that contributed to the 2008 financial meltdown with its profligate lending calls you out, you know you?ve got problems.
So it seems a little more than strange that BOA is proudly claiming it will spend upward of $50 billion over the next 10 years to help fight ?climate change.? BOA Chief Executive Brian T. Moynihan explained the new initiative, which will include promoting renewable-energy platforms such as wind and solar as a benefit to BOA customers: ?Environmental business delivers value to our clients, return for our shareholders and helps strengthen the economy.?
This is on top of a previous 10-year, $20 billion commitment to the Great Green Cause, which the bank says it is on track to complete ahead of schedule. That previous effort included ?$5 billion on renewable energy projects, including helping the San Jose Unified School District in California to run on solar energy. An additional $1 billion went to consumer financing of hybrid vehicles,? according to Dow Jones.
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